Nutritional Additional: What Cheat Days Taught Me About Myself, The Six Pack Tax and Internet Diet Dogma: Lessons from the Slow Carb Diet

This has been quite the ride. If you ever find that your life just isn’t confusing enough, I would highly recommend looking for nutritional information on how to lose body fat on the internet. I’m telling you right now it will set your brain on spin cycle. I’d like to take a moment and talk about some of the points I’ve learned throughout the semester. Here we go!

I started out this journey intent on adhering to the Slow Carb Diet (SCD) as prescribed by Tim Ferriss.

Image result for slow carb diet infographic
Here is a simple graphic that sums up the SCD fairly well. (Source: Pintrest)

Generally, the foods are fairly enjoyable. I agree with Ferris that it greatly simplifies the eating process when you eat the same meals repeatedly ( in my case I’ve eaten a lot of chicken breast, chicken thighs and stir fry) I don’t mind the repetitive nature of it. In fact, I find it takes the guess work out of meal preparation. I found the foods quite satisfying.Meals were generally simple and easy to prepare.

Another concept of the Six Pack Tax was also helpful. The Six pack Tax basically is deals with paying extra money to have starches ( like rice or potatoes) substituted with vegetables when you are dining out. It makes sense. Apparently I need to pay more tax because I don’t have a six pack. This concept of replacing starches with vegetables was simple and easy to employ in my own food preparation. Frozen vegetables ( I used a stir fry or Califoria mix) are an afforadable means of adding vegetables to your diet.

Here are some of the staples I’ve been eating. Eggs, tuna and cottage cheese have been particularly helpful because they are good sources of protein and fairly reasonably priced. I’ll have more information specifically in my next post. Also buying a pork roast and chopping it up, then freezing it in baggies was a cost effective way of adding some protein.
A big old bag of Costco peas was essential for me. Boil the for nuke them and you have a green side reading to go. The aforementioned frozen vegetables are not pictured but they are an affordable filler that add fiber to my diet.

One challenge I found with the SCD is that Ferriss typically recommends eating a large amount of beans and legumes. There is only one problem. I hate beans. I think it is also fair to say my family hates me on beans. Although there are benefits to eating beans that aide in fat loss, I had trouble with the texture and flavor after a while.



I can’t believe I’m writing this but I had a lot of difficulty with the cheat day. This is suprising because understandably, this was a feature of the diet I was most looking forward to (I mean the idea of 24 hours a week to eat whatever you want still appeals to my inner 12 year old).

I tried it once and felt like garbage. I actually felt hungover. What’s more, I gained 4 pounds as a result ( this after losing 2 pounds that week).

Again, not actual footage (Source: GIPHY)

I’ve since learned that the gain (and the hangover feeling) in weight I saw was likely in part to the bolus of salt and simple carbohydrates I crammed into my body during the cheat day. Okay, but the psychological effects are undeniable. I ate well, lost some weight, then gained it all back and then some. It was a bit of a downer. So are cheat days worth it? You guessed it! It depends!


This video sums up the positives and negatives of cheat days fairly well. Although there are some very real benefits to cheat days, this experience taught me that I didn’t value them as much as my inner 12 year old. For me, it was too much. Too radical a swing in behavior and too contradictory to everything I was doing before the cheat day. I like consistency. I like it in every aspect of my life, including what and how I eat. I guess that’s it. I didn’t  truly understand that until I typed this sentence. I would be better implementing a cheat meal. Something planned where I ate in a shorter designated time (like a single seating). This process makes more sense for me. I could go out for supper and go hard. That way, I have the benefit of a defined time period and I wouldn’t have to contend with having shall we say tempting food in our house. Yes, upon reflection the 24 hour time period was too long and truthfully really wasn’t worth how I felt the next day (very much like a conventional hangover).

I joined a SCD support group on Facebook at the beginning of the semester. I thought it would be a beneficial means of sharing and receiving information information about this approach to eating. There was a lot of that. However, there also was a lot of people telling others everything they were doing wrong and debating the dogmatic tenants of the SCD.

This is where many have come to worship at the digital alter of Slow Carbology. Also 2.5% effort? I don’t know about that. Learning a new way of eating does take effort. Let us not short change ourselves.

I don’t know, it might be me but after a time I found it a bit irritating. Once you’ve read 50 posts about what people ate on their cheat days, it got old. Also our Google Plus community would put this group to shame. I asked a number of questions and didn’t recieve much in the way of responses. It was a bit disappointing. It sure did make me appriciate our class and our willingness to share and answer each other’s questions. Looking back this has been a very positive example of an online learning network that is supportive, open to sharing thoughts, ideas and information (which in the end is what the class is all about). Without those attributes we could be a bunch people celebrating the fact they ate a whole cheesecake or arguing if a pea is a fruit or not.

Apologies this is a much longer post then intended. Please allow me to summarize what I have learned

1. The SCD does offer a variety of whole protein rich foods that can promote fat loss. However, I found the amount of beans and legumes prescribed to be a bit much.

2. Once a week cheat days were not my cup of tea. I learned that I would be better off planning one cheat meal a week. This would allow the benefits of the cheat day in a much more controlled fashion, without the wheels completely falling off.

3. Swapping out starches and simple carbohydrates is an easy way to manage overall carbohydrate intake and increase dietary fiber.

4. Not all social media learning communities are created equal. I gained appreciation for the supportive nature of our Google Plus community as a result of of my foray into the world of Facebook groups dedicated to the SCD.

That is all for now. Again I apologize for the length of the post. Thanks for reading!



















3 thoughts on “Nutritional Additional: What Cheat Days Taught Me About Myself, The Six Pack Tax and Internet Diet Dogma: Lessons from the Slow Carb Diet

  1. Way to go Matt! Getting on board with a lifestyle (diet) change is a huge learning curve. At least it was for me. And I completely agree that online Facebook communities are good up to a point. I also joined a Facebook community page for home organization, while there was support, there was also some negative feedback. It really drove home the point that, as adult educators, there is a need for us to teach our students positive digital citizenship. This is something I never considered before this class. I assumed that as adults they would be able to govern themselves accordingly. We teach our students Communications in our program, this entails verbal and written (paper) correspondence to a target audience (i.e. employer, customer etc). We also need to teach them proper communication and etiquette in the world of social media. Keep up the great work, Matt! Thanks for sharing your learning journey with us.


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